Consider Poetry

I have been rather upset and unsettled by current events of late - as, I think, have many of us;  local, national and international news all seem to provide whole new levels of disquiet.

I don't know about you, but I am not one of those "the universe is telling me . . ." sorts.  Nevertheless, it is a convenient shorthand for the minor sense of destiny a closely grouped series of apparent-coincidences can create, and so it has been with me and poetry. 

Poetry, in the face of the agita and anxiety provoked by any glancing encounter with the news, has been such a balm and not because it is escapist but because it is manages to be both direct and so very gentle.

Consider the power of the gentle gesture.  Consider the the soft voice, the body that yields rather than stiffens.  Consider how art well-wrought, in whatever form, can sneak into our cracks (like water in the sidewalk) and expand and break us open (keep us open) in the best possible way. 

Following, the poetry that has been throwing itself in front of me over the past couple of weeks (don't hurt yourself, poetry):

by Nikki Giovani

by Nikki Giovani

I heard this piece on All Things Considered about poets mining non-fiction to create their work: Poets Take Cues From Journalism In Recent Collections

And then I heard this interview with Max Ritvo. I heard it via the New Yorker Radio Hour but it was originally on the Only Human podcast.  Only Human made a short animation to go with a poem of his that was recently published in The New Yorker

Finally, here is a list of poems by one of my favorite poets, Vikram Seth.  Of everything on this page his work feels to me the most out-of-time - resonant because of a sense of universal experience but not particularly relevant to the immediate times and travails.  That's not a dig on him, just a note for you.